Michael Carrick told MUTV: "I was in the wall, trying to block David James' view. I just turned around and saw it go in the top corner. It was a fantastic free-kick, probably the best one he's scored. It was nice to see it fly in.

"He practices an awful lot and obviously the more you do that, the better you'll get. A few have flown in this season and I don't think that's down to luck. We all know the ability he's got. Hopefully he can keep that going for the rest of the season and score a few more."

Reds defender Nemanja Vidic added: "It was unbelievable. I think it was the best goal I've seen in a game I have played in."

Sir Alex Ferguson also gave Ronaldo's 13th-minute strike top billing, telling MUTV: "That must be the best free-kick in the Premier League.

"It was a marvellous hit. It was within two inches of the junction of the crossbar and the post. No goalkeeper in the world could possibly save it."